Helping Your College Student with Setting Up Their Dorm

Your young one is heading off to college. Adjusting to college life can be difficult, but there are steps you can take to make the transition a bit easier. One of the biggest adjustments is moving away from home life and into a dorm, and you can help. Here are a few ideas to consider.

Figuring out Furniture

It’s important to know how furnished your child’s dorm room will be. Once you find out what items come with the room, you can start looking at college dorm sets of furniture. College students often care about style, and buying a cohesive furniture set is a great way to achieve a great look. Furthermore, furniture sets are often easier to sell, especially to other college students. Your college-bound student might not know exactly what to look for in dorm furniture. Your experience can be invaluable in helping your child make the right decision.


We live in a digital age, so sorting out your child’s computer, smartphone and other tech can go a long way toward preparing for success in college. Both traditional and digital gadgets for college life can help your child stay on task and prepare for the challenges of college life. They can also help provide a source of relaxation and focus, whether it’s the best record player for beginners, a digital SLR, or other gadgets related to healthy recreation. Above all, focus on items to help your child stay organized. College is more hectic that high school, and planning and budgeting time is essential. Encourage your child to keep a calendar and a schedule, and consider purchasing items to make doing so easier.

Sleep Hygiene

All-nighters are common in college, and there’s a good chance your soon-to-be college student won’t have the best sleep schedule possible. However, getting the right amount of sleep is invaluable for making the most of classroom and study time, so setting up some guidelines can help. In particular, encourage your child to keep screen time limited. Studies have shown that computer and smartphone screens make it more difficult to fall asleep and sleep well through the night. Encouraging your student to set a sleep schedule and eliminate screens after a certain time every night can help make the transition to life away from home a bit easier.

Go Over the Rules

Dorms and other student living facilities often have a set of items that are allowed or prohibited, and these rules can often surprise college students and their parents. Go over relevant lists and make sure your child knows what’s allowed and what’s forbidden so that you can work together to find solutions. Furthermore, many colleges also have a list of recommended items. Help your child make a list of essential items to keep on hand and in stock.

Think Small

If you’ve ever lived in a dorm, you’ll have some idea of just how cramped space can be. Your child, on the other hand, is likely to overestimate just how much space is available. Consider setting aside some space in your home to lay out the items you purchase; you can usually find dorm floor plans or dimensions on college websites. The time to find out which items are essential and which can be cut is before arriving on campus.

Discuss Conflict Resolution

We’d like our children to only have wonderful roommates, but this isn’t always possible. Living with roommates can be stressful, so work on teaching your child how to diffuse situations and find creative solutions to problems. Colleges often have resources for helping students in conflict solve their problems. By finding these resources early on, you can encourage your child to take advantage of resources before personality conflicts or other problems become a distraction from work and fun.

Seeing your student off to college is a bittersweet process. However, college life is exciting, and you’ll enjoy spending time together during breaks. Most students take some time before feeling truly comfortable on campus, but a bit of guidance and support from your family can go a long way toward making the switch as pleasant as possible.

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